San Luis Obispo shuts down parks to stop bullying and harassment

July 21, 2021

By JOSH FRIEDMAN

A group of skateboarders allegedly engaged in a harassment campaign targeting members of a San Luis Obispo youth roller derby league that included throwing food; yelling obscenities, including racial slurs; offering drugs; and making threatening gestures with a taser.

SLOCO Junior Roller Derby, a nonprofit roller derby league for youth ages 4 to 17, says the harassment has increased over the last few weeks. The roller derby league detailed the harassment in a Facebook post on Monday.

“Over the past three weeks our team, young skaters, coaches and our board of directors, have been subject to increasing incidence of harassment from young boys and men from the skate park,” according to a derby Facebook post. “It started with throwing grapes and other bits of food at our skaters during practice, to offering drugs and threatening gestures with a taser.

“Until yesterday, when this group of skate boarders tore our posted signs and stormed the rink before we had finished our practice during our reserved rink time.

“These young people proceeded to yell and scream obscenities at our coaches when they were told they could not be on the rink during our practice time, or at all per posted rules that do not allow skateboarders in the rink at all because how expensive it is to resurface. They called our coaches the N word, the C word and even called our skaters who were with us whores. They refused to leave our space and we ended up calling the police.”

In response, the San Luis Obispo Parks and Recreation Department announced Tuesday it has limited use of the Ken Hampian Roller Rink through Aug. 9 to only those who have registered permits. Drop-in basketball, too, will not be allowed at the roller rink through Aug. 9.

“Harassment and bullying of any kind is unacceptable,” The SLO Parks and Recreation Department said in a statement explaining it decision. “The SLO Skate Park, Ken Hampian Roller Rink and other parks are meant to be safe places where anyone can play or recreate and have a good time. We don’t want to have to do this, but it’s necessary to prevent unauthorized skating behaviors, maintain the rink and to keep everyone safe.”

In turn, the roller derby league said locking the skate rink is not a solution and only punishes those who want to roller skate, roller blade and play basketball.


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Camus Redux

The skater-punks are all excited because they finally found a gang of kids they think they could take.


FoxtrotYankee

These little muppets who are harassing people aren’t even skaters. They’re just future bums who hang out down at the skatepark, smoke weed and randomly get in fights with each other — while their parents ignore them from dusk till dawn. Like the human equivalent of feral cats.


When the cops show up all they do is talk to them and tell them to stop — but it’s not really enough to scare them straight. What they need to do is get their personal information, then show up at the parents house. Once a few of these absentee parents get spooked in the middle of their meth-time, because their kid is picking on kids at the roller derby, things will change.


MrYan

How about putting a couple good HD cameras on site? Give the cops what they need to follow up on the skate rats.

We can put the Bike Cops on it.


derasmus

Agreed, all practical and reasonably cost effective solutions.


sunset

These bullies should not be tolerated! They should be cited/arrested and banned from the park for life! Why do the kids that cause no problems have to pay for these aholes? As a native of SLO I am sick of what the city is becomming.


kayaknut

You got the city have because of those you voted into office.


mullyman

Said they called Police what did the Police do? They should of keep the park open and had a plain clothes policeman there and when the gutless punks came back and tried to bully them you arrest them on the spot and even though they are kids teach them a lesson or they will continue this behavior and a few yrs down the road they will be doing more violent acts. Also give the parents a stern talking to.


Cmonnow

Can anyone help me spell punk?


RalphKane

When parents beget Beavis and Butt-Head the cause is obvious


obispan

A skate park, for some reason, is an attractive nuisance. No judgement, just the facts ma’am, just the facts.


slo-to-load

Maybe the obvious cause was they were just following the example set by the most recent ex-president who acted like a pudgy Beavis and Butthead during his four years in office. The obscenities those kids were yelling were pretty close to his Access Hollywood interview.


shelworth

Great, so instead of punishing just the wrongdoers you punish the victims too. Very progressive of you.


JThomas

So the bad guys win again and the children playing pay the price. Why not have the police roundup the bullies? The bullies will just pick on others.


obispan

Even in well-funded SLO, the police cannot keep up. It gets worse and worse and absent enforcement tools and resources, just accept it and don’t go to the skate park, or for that matter, downtown.